‘Unnecessary chaos’: NT's BDR forces soy sauce off shelves

LIKE soy sauce with your Chinese dinner? You better not be on the BDR.

The popular condiment is the latest victim of the NT Government's Banned Drinker Register, with inspectors demanding it be taken off the shelves of a Territory supermarkets.

Ealy this month, a letter was sent out from Acting Director-General of Licencing Sally Ozolins to all businesses in the NT.

It stated "any product which contains ethyl alcohol that is sold in a container over 50ml by volume and which contains over 1.15 per cent of ethyl alcohol must only be sold or offered for sale with the authority of a liquor licence, including any requirement to store such products in a designated area".

Retail Drinks Australia chief executive Julie Ryan said the decision Ms Ozolins was nonsensical.

"This goes against 40 plus years of the liquor act," Ms Ryan said.

"Your everyday lay person doesn't think of their soy sauce as being a beverage."


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Soy sauce and other unusual items may have fallen afoul of the law.

Ms Ryan said the way the letter was sent out would mean any supermarket or shop that continued to sell products such as soy sauce, nail polish remover or cough syrup without a liquor licence would be labelled "non-compliant".

"This will mean there are pharmacies who can no longer sell cough syrup and petrol stations who can no longer sell nail polish remover," Ms Ryan said.

"These are products that are freely available and unregulated all over Australia and the world. The Territory wants to be world-first in a lot of things but I don't think this was one of them.

"It is really unnecessary chaos that's been created when we've really tried very hard to get this to a logical outcome."

Ms Ryan said she was keen to "work with the minister to get to a good outcome here".

The BDR was introduced in September 2017 and requires anyone purchasing alcohol to have their ID scanned before purchase can take place.

It has caused supermarkets to take things like cooking wine and alcoholic mouthwash off the shelves.

Attorney-General Natasha Fyles has been contacted for comment.